FanGraphs Power Rankings: August 7–13

What a difference a week makes. With plenty of teams streaking up and down the standings, the playoff picture in both leagues is as murky as ever. We’re also at the point in the season where we can start thinking about which teams are positioned to play spoiler down the stretch.

A reminder for how these rankings are calculated: first, we take the three most important components of a team — their offense (wRC+), their pitching (a 50/50 blend of FIP- and RA9-, weighted by starter and reliever IP share), and their defense (RAA) — and combine them to create an overall team quality metric. I also add in a factor for “luck,” adjusting a team’s win percentage based on expected win-loss record. The result is a power ranking, which is then presented in tiers below.

Tier 1 – The Best of the Best
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Braves 75-42 -1 124 95 84 -6 157 100.0%
Rangers 70-48 -5 121 91 102 14 167 91.7%

The Rangers continued their red-hot August with series wins against the A’s and Giants last week. They’re just three games behind the Orioles for the best record in the American League and have held off the surging Astros and Mariners to maintain their grip on the AL West.

The Braves emerged from their most congested portion of their schedule with five wins in eight games last week. They outscored the Mets 34–3 over the first three games of their four-game weekend series before losing on Sunday night, 7–6. Matt Olson took over the MLB home run lead by blasting four last week; he’s now up to 43 on the season, already a career high.

Tier 2 – On the Cusp of Greatness
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Rays 71-49 -3 117 88 102 9 154 95.9%
Blue Jays 66-54 0 108 92 85 -3 148 65.7%
Dodgers 71-46 0 116 98 95 1 141 100.0%
Orioles 73-45 8 103 100 86 -8 107 98.4%
Mariners 63-54 1 103 93 89 12 142 34.6%
Astros 68-51 0 105 97 97 6 129 90.4%

All of a sudden, the Rays are facing all sorts of woes. On Saturday, they placed Shane McClanahan on the 60-day IL with a forearm injury that will cost him the rest of the season. For a team that’s already lost Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs to season-ending injuries (not to mention the back issue that forced Tyler Glasnow to miss his start last week), it’s another unfortunate hit to the pitching depth. Then, on Sunday, reports emerged that Wander Franco was being investigated regarding some concerning social media posts.

The Blue Jays have struggled with consistency all season long; to wit, they split a series with the Guardians and lost a series to the Cubs last week, allowing the surging Mariners to come within a game and a half of the final Wild Card spot in the AL. With Hyun Jin Ryu back from his Tommy John surgery and Yusei Kikuchi in the middle of the best run of his career, Toronto optioned Alek Manoah back to Triple-A to continue working out his issues. Bo Bichette still looks like he’s a couple of weeks away from returning from his knee injury, though Jordan Romano and Kevin Kiermaier look like they’ll be back from the IL this week.

The Dodgers have lost just once in August and pushed their current win streak to eight games with a sweep of the Rockies last weekend. They didn’t have the splashiest of trade deadlines, but Lance Lynn has surprisingly provided some stability to a starting rotation that is only just now getting healthy again, and Clayton Kershaw was activated from the IL last week and contributed a solid start on Thursday. Los Angeles now has a commanding 8.5-game lead in the NL West, a shocking gap considering it wasn’t even in first place at the All-Star break.

Tier 3 – Solid Contenders
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Phillies 65-54 2 100 90 93 -2 120 84.2%
Cubs 61-57 -4 105 101 93 7 131 54.0%
Twins 62-58 -2 103 87 97 -9 117 90.5%
Giants 63-55 2 94 97 89 11 113 65.5%
Brewers 65-54 5 89 96 92 22 103 83.5%
Padres 56-62 -9 105 89 101 22 148 21.9%

Wednesday was a night of celebration for the Phillies: Weston Wilson crushed a home run in his first major league plate appearance; Nick Castellanos blasted two home runs, the second of which was his 200th career dinger; and as the headlining act, Michael Lorenzen fired a no-hitter in his first start in Philadelphia since coming over at the trade deadline. They couldn’t keep the good vibes going over the weekend, scoring just once over their final two games against the Twins. Still, the struggles of every other NL Wild Card hopeful have given the Phillies a three-game lead in that race.

The Giants barely avoided a sweep at the hands of the Rangers with a dramatic, walk-off win in the tenth inning on Sunday. That victory salvaged a 2–4 week and helped them stay 1.5 games ahead of the Marlins in the NL Wild Card race. That series against Texas began an extremely tough stretch of schedule against playoff contenders that includes the Rays, Braves (twice), Phillies, Reds, Padres, and Cubs before finally easing up in September.

The Padres are quickly running out of opportunities to turn their season around at the last minute. After a particularly lackluster performance in a losing effort in Seattle on Wednesday, there were some pointed comments from Juan Soto after the game. They bounced back in their first game against the Diamondbacks in a huge weekend series but lost on Saturday and Sunday and are now 5.5 games back for the final wild card spot. They’ll have another shot at Arizona this weekend, which now seems like a make-or-break series.

Tier 4 – The Melee
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Red Sox 62-56 0 104 104 95 -39 91 15.6%
Angels 59-60 0 109 104 106 -4 106 1.9%
Yankees 60-58 1 96 108 86 9 99 5.7%
Diamondbacks 59-59 2 99 102 103 15 99 20.7%
Guardians 57-62 -3 91 93 93 3 101 8.5%
Marlins 62-57 7 97 95 98 -14 87 44.9%
Reds 62-58 4 96 109 97 -15 54 23.9%

After an ugly 2–8 stretch to start the month, the Red Sox have gotten back on track with series wins against the Royals and Tigers last week. Trevor Story, Chris Sale, and Garrett Whitlock are back off the IL, and Triston Casas is powering the offense nearly singlehandedly. That’s a lot of last-minute reinforcements for Boston, which has a lot of work to do to get back into the AL Wild Card race.

The Angels showed some signs of life in a series win against the Giants early last week, but they were short-lived; the Astros handed them back-to-back 11–3 defeats over the weekend, and Los Angeles barely avoided a sweep with a close 2–1 victory on Sunday. The Angels’ postseason hopes are hanging by a thread, and they’re almost at the point where they need to start looking toward an Ohtani-less season next year. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to affect the playoff picture by playing spoiler down the stretch, but they need to find ways to get some of their youngsters more playing time to assess what they’re working with moving forward.

The four-way race for the final NL Wild Card spot ended this week with the Marlins a half-game ahead of the Reds and Cubs. They got there thanks to a series win against Cincinnati earlier in the week and then a dramatic series win against the Yankees capped off by a walk-off victory on Sunday. All four teams won their series over the weekend, though Arizona is at a significant disadvantage thanks to its slide down the standings earlier in the month.

Tier 5 – No Man’s Land
Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
Cardinals 52-66 -4 111 106 101 1 119 0.4%
Pirates 53-65 2 90 105 98 1 67 0.2%
Mets 53-65 0 101 107 115 -11 62 0.8%
Nationals 53-66 2 95 111 113 5 63 0.0%
Tigers 53-65 4 87 107 98 4 62 1.0%

The race for the final two protected draft lottery picks is probably going to come down to these five teams. They’re separated by just a single game in the standings, and each of them looks stronger than the bottom four teams in the standings (though the Nationals are actually ineligible to receive a lottery pick since they earned one last year). These five teams are also the most likely to play spoiler down the stretch, since all of them can put together a competitive performance on any given night.

Tier 6 – Hope Deferred
Team Record wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds
White Sox 47-72 -3 86 108 108 -10 28 0.0%
Royals 38-81 -6 86 114 114 18 46 0.0%
Rockies 45-73 2 76 120 100 -12 22 0.0%
Athletics 33-85 0 89 135 128 -11 17 0.0%

If there’s one thing Rockies fans could enjoy about their team during these lean years, it was a winning record at home. Over the last decade, Colorado has posted a losing record in Coors Field twice, and one of those years was the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. They’re at risk of losing that home field advantage this year, having gone 25–30 so far. They still have home series against the Diamondbacks, Braves, Blue Jays, Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, and Twins on the docket, which means they could play a significant role as a spoiler down the stretch — but only if they can turn Coors Field back into a tough place to play in.

Complete Power Rankings
Rank Team Record “Luck” wRC+ SP- RP- RAA Team Quality Playoff Odds Δ
1 Braves 75-42 -1 124 95 84 -6 157 100.0% 0
2 Rangers 70-48 -5 121 91 102 14 167 91.7% 0
3 Rays 71-49 -3 117 88 102 9 154 95.9% 0
4 Blue Jays 66-54 0 108 92 85 -3 148 65.7% 0
5 Dodgers 71-46 0 116 98 95 1 141 100.0% 1
6 Orioles 73-45 8 103 100 86 -8 107 98.4% -1
7 Mariners 63-54 1 103 93 89 12 142 34.6% 0
8 Astros 68-51 0 105 97 97 6 129 90.4% 1
9 Phillies 65-54 2 100 90 93 -2 120 84.2% 3
10 Cubs 61-57 -4 105 101 93 7 131 54.0% -2
11 Twins 62-58 -2 103 87 97 -9 117 90.5% 0
12 Giants 63-55 2 94 97 89 11 113 65.5% -2
13 Brewers 65-54 5 89 96 92 22 103 83.5% 1
14 Padres 56-62 -9 105 89 101 22 148 21.9% -1
15 Red Sox 62-56 0 104 104 95 -39 91 15.6% 1
16 Angels 59-60 0 109 104 106 -4 106 1.9% -1
17 Yankees 60-58 1 96 108 86 9 99 5.7% 0
18 Diamondbacks 59-59 2 99 102 103 15 99 20.7% 0
19 Guardians 57-62 -3 91 93 93 3 101 8.5% 0
20 Marlins 62-57 7 97 95 98 -14 87 44.9% 0
21 Reds 62-58 4 96 109 97 -15 54 23.9% 0
22 Cardinals 52-66 -4 111 106 101 1 119 0.4% 0
23 Pirates 53-65 2 90 105 98 1 67 0.2% 1
24 Mets 53-65 0 101 107 115 -11 62 0.8% -1
25 Nationals 53-66 2 95 111 113 5 63 0.0% 1
26 Tigers 53-65 4 87 107 98 4 62 1.0% -1
27 White Sox 47-72 -3 86 108 108 -10 28 0.0% 1
28 Royals 38-81 -6 86 114 114 18 46 0.0% -1
29 Rockies 45-73 2 76 120 100 -12 22 0.0% 0
30 Athletics 33-85 0 89 135 128 -11 17 0.0% 0





Jake Mailhot is a contributor to FanGraphs. A long-suffering Mariners fan, he also writes about them for Lookout Landing. Follow him on Twitter @jakemailhot.

52 Comments
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paulkrugman2055
9 months ago

For Wander Franco’s prospect grading, he should have been given a 20 on the Intelligence scouting scale

v2miccamember
9 months ago

I look forward to the Fangraphs article on Franco.

Last edited 9 months ago by v2micca
cowdisciplemember
9 months ago
Reply to  v2micca

I think we can assume there won’t be one until and unless there’s something more substantial than an… X? What do we call the things formerly known as tweets now?

I most definitely do not look forward to the inevitable breakout of culture war in the comments section, that’s for sure.

Philmember
9 months ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

You call them x-tweets

sadtrombonemember
9 months ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

If he gets suspended, there might be a playoff odds update around that. Otherwise, there’s not a lot of substance to talk about. But I’m sure that is not going to stop some commenters anyway.

v2miccamember
9 months ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

That’s actually one of the reasons I’m looking forward to Fangraphs eventually writing on the matter. I know they won’t half-ass it just to get an article out first. They will wait until the facts are known and make a careful and thoughtful analysis of it.

And then the comments will inevitably descend into a cluster, but that is part of the show.

goat
9 months ago
Reply to  v2micca

I look forward to someone saying that it’s not rape because it was consensual.

goat
9 months ago
Reply to  cowdisciple

I do because I’m a messy bitch who loves drama.

Lanidrac
9 months ago

Maybe if he were an RPG character?

goat
9 months ago

If Wander Franco somehow escapes a Yaroslavl full team-elimination event because he’s on the restricted list for raping a 14-year-old, I will strip naked on a street corner in San Diego and jack myself off until the police put a bullet in my skull.

Sleepy
9 months ago

That #2 Trade Value Ranking has aged like mayo left out in the sun.